26 August 2008
From a recent admonishing email from my Learned Friend Bevan living in the Shadow of the Galata Tower:
"I must take issue with your gazpacho: the ingredients well and good BUT the essential ingredient in gazpacho, hence the name, is BREAD. As with....(a senior moment) that paste made of anchovies, olives, garlic and capers: the essential is the last named hence the name which for the moment escapes me."
The gazpacho to which I am used (...) does not have bread in it. But some research told me that yes, leftover bits of bread are important. So I moistened some leftover bits of bread with olive oil and in they went.
1 clove garlic
1 giant heirloom tomato, peeled (dip in boiling water for a minute having made an x-shaped incision in the skin at the top, then peel easily)
1 Kirby cucumber, or...a short, fat cucumber, peeled
1/3 of an onion (I like onion)
Some bits of olive oil-soaked white bread
Salt, pepper, a dash of good vinegar (I used sherry), some sugar
Whizz. Eat. Good.
Just had a cupful with my gin and tonic after an Interesting Day Involving Very Big Trees and a Not-Big Enough Truck. Gazpacho is, how shall I put it? Healthy. It's good for you, and a tonic. A very good pick me up.
It's different every time I make it. This is what I had, so this is how I made it. Red peppers help. The vinegar and garlic are, to me, essential.
Excuse me while I put some organic baby back ribs under the broiler. I'm basting them with gazpacho perked up with soy sauce, chile and the obligatory ketchup NOT sweetened with corn. syrup.
I end with the tail-end of the admonishing (and welcome) email:
"We have two varieties of peach here that I have not encountered anywhere else: a small pale greenery-yellery one, the size of an apricot, that tastes like cyanide (delicious!) and a flat one called inexplicably in Turkish "Tomato peaches". They are so flat you can stack them one on top of the other and they taste like those white peaches one used to get that the skin slipped off whole and the juice ran down your neck and stained your shirt.